But I’ve also seen churches full of loud music and jeans and untucked shirts that have the best lighting and video production, with no gray hair in sight. Is that any better than a seniors only church? I wonder. That holds no attraction to me either.
I have been in conferences in which the speaker has said that we need to change, and if the seniors don’t like it, then that’s too bad. Again, I believe seniors need to flex, but the glib writing off of an entire generation speaks to a serious blind spot in our approach to ministry today.
Darryl closes his post with a reflection on James 1:27, writing:
If our religion is pure, we will look after those who are oppressed and forgotten, and that surely includes a lot of seniors today. I’m increasingly convinced that we need to move beyond generationally divided ministry and take this seriously. And we’ve got to take some of the challenges they’re facing and figure out how we can visit them in their afflictions and actually help.
If we write off the seniors, James says, we’ve failed. That’s a pretty big deal.
This is true.
In our efforts to multiculturalize the church—which is a great effort and a godly one—let’s not forget the need to multigenerationalize the church.
Is your church monogenerational? If not, are your seniors second-class citizens in your church? If so, what can you do to fix this?
The kingdom of God turns the tables on business as usual, and this includes church business as usual. The countercultural call of the kingdom requires a revolutionary ageism, where we actually honor our elders above ourselves, and our youngers actually honor those we are most tempted to deem having outlived their usefulness.
This article originally appeared here.